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First Name: Fred

Last Name: Lester

Birthplace: Downers Grove, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Home of Record: IL
Middle Name: Faulkner

Date of Birth: 29 April 1926

Date of Death: 08 June 1945

Rank or Rate: Hospitalman Apprentice

Years Served: 1943 - 1945
Fred Faulkner Lester

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Fred Faulkner Lester
Hospital Apprentice First Class, U.S. Navy
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Hospital Apprentice First Class Fred Faulkner Lester (29 April 1926 - 8 June 1945) was a U.S. Navy sailor who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during World War II.

Fred Faulkner Lester was born on 29 April 1926 in Downers Grove, IL. He joined the U.S. Navy from Illinois. On 8 June 1945, Lester was a Hospital Apprentice First Class serving with the 1st Battalion, 22d Marine Regiment, 6th Marine Division. On Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Islands that day, he crawled beyond the front lines to rescue a wounded Marine. Although severely wounded in the process, he succeeded in dragging the Marine to safety and instructed his comrades in the treatment of the wounded until succumbing to his own injuries. For his heroic actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Hospital Apprentice First Class, U.S. Navy.

Place and date: Okinawa Shima, Ryukyu Chain, 8 June 1945.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Medical Corpsman with an Assault Rifle Platoon, attached to the 1st Battalion, 22d Marines, 6th Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 8 June 1945. Quick to spot a wounded marine lying in an open field beyond the front lines following the relentless assault against a strategic Japanese hill position, Lester unhesitatingly crawled toward the casualty under a concentrated barrage from hostile machineguns, rifles, and grenades. Torn by enemy rifle bullets as he inched forward, he stoically disregarded the mounting fury of Japanese fire and his own pain to pull the wounded man toward a covered position. Struck by enemy fire a second time before he reached cover, he exerted tremendous effort and succeeded in pulling his comrade to safety where, too seriously wounded himself to administer aid, he instructed 2 of his squad in proper medical treatment of the rescued marine. Realizing that his own wounds were fatal, he staunchly refused medical attention for himself and, gathering his fast-waning strength with calm determination, coolly and expertly directed his men in the treatment of 2 other wounded marines, succumbing shortly thereafter. Completely selfless in his concern for the welfare of his fighting comrades, Lester, by his indomitable spirit, outstanding valor, and competent direction of others, had saved the life of 1 who otherwise must have perished and had contributed to the safety of countless others. Lester's fortitude in the face of certain death sustains and enhances the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


The destroyer escort USS Lester (DE-1022) was named in his honor.

Death and Burial

Hospital Apprentice First Class Fred Faulkner Lester was killed in action on 8 June 1945. He is buried at Clarendon Hills Cemetery in Darien, IL.

Honoree ID: 1498   Created by: MHOH




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